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Bada Bing for sale: Owner explains his reasons

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Villella's Bada Bing is still open.

Owner Chris Villella, who opened the newest Bada Bing location in Bemidji last July, confirmed that the establishment is for sale, but emphasized that the sale is not because of a lack of business or community support.

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Rather, his family is anticipating a new arrival sometime in August, and Villella is finding it more difficult to be in two places at once.

"I'm looking at the future," he said. "Kids need their dad."

Villella, 41, a native of Max, Minn., near Squaw Lake, opened the first Bada Bing in Brainerd in 2004.

He expanded to Bemidji last summer.

In Brainerd, Bada Bing serves about 100 plates of food a day, Villella said. The Bemidji location has done that, too, but he said he thinks it could do even more.

"This place should do more (than Brainerd)," he said, explaining that it's larger and set up better to cater to restaurant customers.

Since the Bemidji location opened, Villella has had to split his time between his Brainerd home, the Brainerd Bada Bing, and the Bemidji Bada Bing.

"I just can't be going back and forth all the time," he said.

So, when the Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association asked him about listing one of the locations for sale, Villella agreed. The asking price, according to the MLBA Web site is $460,000.

He doesn't need to sell because of a lack of business, so he won't sell unless the potential buyer meets his price, Villella noted.

The location of Bada Bing, which serves as a sports bar, restaurant and night club all in one, is ideal, he said.

"If someone could be here every day and make it work every day, they'll do wonders here," Villella said.

During conversations with MLBA members, Villella had mentioned that he was getting tired of traveling 90 miles from Brainerd to Bemidji all the time. Someone suggested that he list one of the locations for sale.

So, he has, but he's not desperate to sell.

Villella said the community has been very supportive, especially the bartenders at the 209 Bar, who talked with him and advised him on different business aspects.

bwesley@bemidjipioneer.com

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